MINGO COUNTY, W.Va (WYMT) - The visitation service for former Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was held at Mingo Central High School Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of people waited in line to pay their respects to him and the Crum family.
Each person at Saturday's visitation remembers Sheriff Crum in their own way. Few of them even considered him family.
Kristy Diamond says the sudden loss of Sheriff Crum is devastating, “We're having to say goodbye to a very, very precious man. It's just not right.”
He was shot and killed Wednesday while eating lunch in his cruiser. EMT Johnny Adkins responded to the call.
“We got the call as officer involved shooting. It took us a few seconds once we got on scene, to realize who it was, and then it was devastating,” says Adkins.
Diamond says his death has meant something to everyone in the community.
“Eugene was doing what was right. He was trying to make this place here safe for all of us and for the kids, and he lost his life just doing what was right, says Diamond.
She says she is honored to call his widow, Rosie Crum, family as she steps into her husband's role as sheriff.
“She's an inspiration to all. She's honoring her husband, and people need to look at her as an inspiration because she is the strongest, bravest woman I know,” says Diamond.
Yet, many say no one will ever be able to replace him.
“The EMS, the fire, the deputies, it'll never be the same. It'll be a missing piece of your heart,” says Adkins.
Nor will they forget his lasting legacy as sheriff.
Police say 37-year-old Tennis Maynard has been charged with first degree murder.
Friends and family will say their final goodbyes at the funeral service Sunday at the Mingo Central High School at 1:00p.m.
We plan to have live coverage of the funeral here on our website Sunday afternoon.